The sky was clear and bright, and the gentle breeze felt wonderful against her skin as she and Russell loaded the boat for their fishing trip. The day was perfect for camping and fishing. It had been a long time since they had a free weekend.
Kelly looked out the window as they pulled into their favorite campsite. The trees and plants were a vibrant green, flowers bloomed everywhere. Birds chirped their songs of joy. They set up their tent and then unloaded the boat into the river. “What a perfect
“Just my kind,” Russell grinned. “Wish we could live here.”
“When we retire, we’ll buy a plot of land just like this. Build a cabin, plant a garden, and watch the sun rise and set every day.” She settled onto one of the benches and opened the tackle box.
Their boat was the old fashioned kind with two oars. Storage compartments were located beneath the bench seats and the sides. Classic rock played softly on the radio. Floating on the river gave them a lazy feeling filled with peace.
Russell cast his line and settled the rod. “What’s for lunch, honey?” He looked into the fish pail. “We caught quite a few today. I can’t wait for dinner. Fish cooked over a fire with baked potatoes.” He rubbed his stomach.
“I packed chicken sandwiches and beer.” She reached into the cooler and handed him the food. “You and your food,” she teased.
He smiled and said, “Have I told you how much I love you?”
“Every day,” she laughed. “Good thing I convinced you to marry me.”
“And they said we’d never last. Twenty-five years and two grown kids later and here we are still going strong.” He leaned forward and gently kissed her, savoring the chicken flavor of her lips.
Clouds drifted overhead throwing shadows on their boat. Kelly shielded her eyes and looked up. The sunny day turned overcast. Kelly glanced up at the ominous looking clouds and wondered if a thundershower was headed toward them. She twisted the radio tuner until she found a station reporting the noon weather forecast. The broadcast still said nothing about rain or storms or any other kind of foul weather.
“Does it look like rain to you?” She took a bite of her sandwich. “The radio didn’t say anything.”
“Sure looks like it. I think we should pack up and head back in.” Russell downed his beer and began gathering items to stuff into storage compartments.
Kelly put the food back into the cooler and reached for a life jacket. “Russell, here’s yours.”
“No time, honey. I’ll get it once everything is stowed away.” He poured the remaining ice onto the fish they had caught earlier.
The storm arrived unexpectedly. It was as though it sprang up out of nowhere. The sky darkened dramatically. Lightning flashed followed by booming thunder seconds later. The rains came not in the gentle pitter-pattering of drops hitting a window pane, but in a torrential downpour that rocked the small boat. The water churned in the turbulence of the sudden storm.
Kelly turned the radio to the emergency channel and keyed the microphone. “Mayday! Mayday! This is Sea Harmony. We are in danger. Come in.” She listened for a response; and then repeated her message. “Come in, please. Anyone?”
There was no response, only static came over the air. The radio either wasn’t working or the storm was interfering with the transmission.
“Please strap yourself to the boat or hold on.” Russell turned looking for his safety vest. A sudden gust of wind sent Russell’s life-jacket into the air before he could grab it.
“Damn!” Russell dove toward it just as the boat rocked violently from side to side.
The tackle box bounced off his head before it flew over the rail. He fell against the rail and slipped overboard into the cold, raging water. His head bobbed once, twice, three times before he sank from sight. He popped back up near the river bank and was snagged by a tree.
“Russell!” Kelly screamed and leaned over the side trying to grab him.
A sudden upward motion of the waves almost rolled the boat. Her stomach heaved from the dizzying motion of the waves and the boat. She gripped the rails and held on. She heard a screeching, keening noise for minutes before realizing the sounds were her screams. Her muscles, stretched tautly, soon ached as though on fire. She marveled that her shoulders did not separate from their sockets.
Visibility was nearly impossible as the rain pounded in increasing intensity. She could barely make out the half submerged body of her husband. Stuck between the branches of a willow, he appeared unconscious.
“Hold on, Russell. I’m coming.” She held onto the oars with a death grip and slammed them in the choppy water time after time. Hard fought inch by inch, she crept toward the river bank and the trees that held her beloved husband captive.
Just a little further and she could grab him. “Almost there, love. Please hang on!” She only hoped she had the strength to pull him in. She prayed she would be able to get them both to land safely.
Kelly stretched her arms toward him. “Please God, help me!” Her fingertips barely able to reach him only served to push him further away. She inched the boat after him.
“C’mon, love, give me a little help here.” She grabbed his shirt, but he was too heavy, and he slipped from her grasp. Whimpering in fear and frustration she watched in horror as he slipped away and sank under the water.
“No!” she wailed. The choppy water crashed against the side of the boat and spun it sideways away from the river bank.
Horror turned to anger. Anger turned to disbelief. Disbelief became grief as she sat helplessly watching her husband drown only five feet from her reach. The current worked against her. Tossing her small craft in the opposite direction, dragging her down the raging river until his tangled body was no longer visible.
Copyright © FM Burgett 2015 all rights reserved.
The right of FM Burgett to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him/her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 First published as an e-Book by FM Burgett US e-book Edition All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Burgett, FM (2015-02-25). Flood. FM Burgett.e-book Edition.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Flood is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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nice and lovely